Thursday, May 31, 2007

Memorable TV Onomatopoeia. Kind of.

Okay, technically, this isn't about "buzz" or "ping-pong" or "beep" or other somewhat "legitimate" onomatopoeia words. But I was trying to think of how to describe what I'm talking about.

The point I'm making is that there are certain, very distinct sounds associated with various TV shows. Sounds, that if you heard them, not even looking at a screen or visual, you would know exactly what show was on. Not dialogue. Not theme music. Not even abbreviated musical "notes" (like the opening of Lost, for example, when the logo spins up and "at" us). Just a sound. Got it?

  1. The most obvious example is the "chung-chung" from Law and Order. Everyone knows that, right?
  2. The ticking digital clock from 24. Also from 24, the "bleep-bloop" of the phone ring in CTU. (Even if they follow my plan from a previous post about revamping 24, I hope the new organization buys their phones from the same telecom provider. I just love that damned "bleep-bloop").
  3. The "whooosh" of a wormhole forming in the stargate on Stargate SG-1.
  4. From Star Trek: TNG, the sound of the Enterprise jumping to warp. And from all the Treks, but primarily in The Original Series (where it seemed the sound mix was louder), the sound of someone using the transporter to beam up.
  5. The sound of the Tardis firing up its engine on Doctor Who.
  6. The chain-dragging, clanking sound of the "smoke monster" on Lost.
  7. The low, pulsating humm of the cylon "eye" on both versions of Battlestar Galactica's centurions. (On a side note, I'm continuing through my The Office DVD watch, just finishing Season 2, and watched some outtakes last night. In one, Michael was trying to put together a Dunder-Mifflin "mad-libs" game, and asked for a place. Dwight replied "Caprica." Priceless).
  8. The sound of a vampire being staked and going "poof" on Angel and Buffy.
  9. The sound of "bionics" when Jamie Sommers or Steve Austin would jump, bend steel or do something spectacular.
  10. The "wiffleball in a wind tunnel" sound made when Johnny experiences a vision on The Dead Zone.

Anyone want to take a crack at actually "spelling" these? Are there "words" for these things that I just don't know about? What other "signature sounds" am I forgetting?

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